Alumni Spotlight on Zach Bennett
In the Spotlight: Alumnus Zach Bennett
Alumnus Zach Bennett earned his bachelor's degree in business administration from Kent State University. He was promoted from management associate to sales and service manager at Consumers National Bank in Alliance. In his new position, he oversees deposit accounts, consumer lending and branch operations.
Bennett decided to come to Kent State University at Salem after starting at another university. He said Kent State Salem was an excellent choice because of its proximity to his home, affordable tuition and small classes. After completing much of his coursework, he finished his degree at the Kent Campus.
Bennett said he really enjoyed his time at Kent State Salem. Small class sizes helped him get to know both his fellow students and professors. He fondly recalls Dr. Peggy Manchester, who was instrumental in his development, as he progressed through his math classes. "There were many times that Dr. Manchester took time out of her busy schedule to help me prepare for classes or to just explain concepts," Bennett said.
Another professor that influenced Bennett greatly was Dr. Ed Villella. "I remember having Dr. Villella for Intro to Business," Bennett said. "It was really, really hard. There was so much work. I couldn't help but think 'how am I ever going to make it through business if this is just the intro?'" By default Bennett said he had to take Villella's next class, and he wasn't looking forward to it. "Again, it was a lot of work," Bennett said. However, this time he knew what to expect. Because of the small class he got to know Villella better. "He really cared about his students. He helped me with my schedule and even gave his students his home phone number in case we needed something," Bennett said. After that class he tried to take as many courses with Villella as he could.
In addition to taking classes, Bennett's schedule allowed him to work as a teller at Consumers National Bank. He said working for Consumers was a smart move both while in college, and following graduation.
"The company culture at Consumers is what sets it apart from your average corporate bank," he said. "The employees at Consumers are just normal people in the community, and they understand the needs of the local customers."
Bennett encourages current students to research companies that they would like to work for. At interviews he suggests asking about the company culture. "The people you work with are like a second family," he said. "Sometimes, it's not all about the money."